Tuesday: Senate to start work on tax extender bill

The Senate starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday and will hold the first procedural vote an hour later on a tax extender bill.

Last week, Reid filed cloture on a motion to proceed to the Hire More Heroes Act, H.R. 3474, which will serve as the legislative vehicle for S. 2260, the EXPIRE Act. The House passed H.R. 3474 in March.

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Democrats will need at least five Republican to vote with them to advance the legislation. If cloture is invoked, consideration of the $85 billion bill will likely consume the rest of the week.

If the Senate sends an amended version of a House bill back, it's easier for the House to take up the Senate-passed tax measure.

It seems unlikely that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will agree with Senate Democrats' tax proposal after conservative group Club for Growth called it a "special-interest orgy," although compromise is possible since a large chunk of the Senate bill is an extender for the research and development tax credit. Last week, the House passed a R&D tax extension without offsets.

The underlying House bill being used as the tax vehicle would allow companies not to treat veterans as full-time employees under the ObamaCare employer mandate. The Senate tax bill would cost more than $85 billion and includes incentives for corporate research and the wind industry.

At the beginning of the year, several tax deductions expired. Congress has until the end of the year to come up with a deal to preserve some.

As usual, senators will recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. to attend their caucus luncheons.

The House is not in session this week.